The week ahead: Hillsborough files, News Corp revolt, Euro, Man Booker

A guide to the big diary stories of the week ahead, provided by Foresight News.

With last week’s attempt by Christopher Chope MP to curtail the debate on the full release of Hillsborough disaster documents still rankling, MPs today take to the floor of the House of Commons  for a debate on whether to disclose all the police’s unredacted files to the Hillsborough Independent Panel. The discussion follows an e-petition calling for the complete release of files, backed by Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, which received more than 100,000 signatures.

Taking a moment out of his save-the-world-economy schedule, the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, is in London today for an afternoon at Chatham House, where he delivers a speech titled, ‘Fiscal Consolidation and Financial Market Regulation’. Schauble is on the record as having called for a fiscal union to complement the monetary union of the Euro, as well as suggesting private investors must share the pain in any Greek ‘write-off’.

Still smarting from the new Literature Prize’s attempt to steal its thunder, the Man Booker prize rumbles into action on Tuesday with the declaration of this year’s winner for the best book in contemporary fiction. Following Howard Jacobsen’s win, for the first time, last year, all this year’s talk has similarly revolved around nomination Julian Barnes and his striking absence of previous Man Booker acknowledgement.

The Queen and her consort travel to the antipodean side of our globe on Wednesday, giving all Australians a chance to bask in Her Majesty’s regal glow. Elizabeth II is the first reigning monarch to set foot on Australian soil, and has made a number of visits since her succession in 1954. The Commonwealth’s 85-year-old head of state arrives in Canberra, before journeying to Brisbane for the day.

Just when EU leaders appeared to be steering the Euro ship back on to a safer course, Greek public and private sector unions, incensed by their government’s imposition of austerity measures, once more take to the streets for another general strike on Wednesday. The planned two-day action coincides with the Greek parliament’s vote on the latest austerity bill.

Michel Barnier, the European Commissioner for Internal Markets, presents a review of the regulation of EU financial markets in Brussels on Thursday. Last month a leaked version of the report emerged which suggested Barnier intended to target the UK’s Big Four accountancy firms, which – if true – is unlikely to be well received in the City given the recent reaction to reforms proposed by the Vickers commission.

News Corp shareholders are due in Los Angeles on Friday for the company’s AGM, with the pressure on the Murdoch clan unrelenting. There are calls from certain shareholder groups to vote against the re-election to the board of Rupert’s sons James and Lachlan, while back in London the Leveson and Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiries continue to dominate the political-media agendas.

Testimony in the South African trial of Chris Mahlangu and his 16-year-old co-worker, the men accused of the murder of the white supremacist Eugene Terre’blanche, is scheduled to conclude on Friday. The case, already subject to frenzied media coverage, took a controversial turn last week when pictures of Terre’blanche’s beaten body were posted on Facebook before being presented in court as evidence.

Sunday seems to be international elections day, with votes taking place in Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Argentina. Perhaps most significant, however, are the elections scheduled in Tunisia, where voters elect new representatives for the first time since then-President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali dissolved Parliament in January in one of the earliest successful actions of the Arab Spring protests.

Finally the Rugby World Cup reaches a climax after five long weeks in which England failed to reach the heights of 2003 on the field but still managed to keep up their reputation for off-field antics. There could still be a home nation competing on Sunday; at the time of writing, Wales are still on course for a first ever final appearance.

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